Emphatically refusing to make “pictures,” Austrian artist Maria Lassnig labored to accurately represent her internal world. Using the term “body awareness,” she regularly tried to paint the way her body felt to her from the inside, rather than attempting to depict it from without. This exhibition honors her remarkable, and underkown, career that spanned more than 70 years. Vulnerably exploring the way she comes into contact with the world, Lassnig places particular emphasis upon the disjunctions between her own self-image and the way she is seen by others—as a woman, as a painter, and as a person living through the dramatic technological and cultural developments that have marked the century of her lifetime. Bravely exposing personal traumas, fantasies, and nightmares, Lassnig’s art offers instruction for courageous living in a time of increasingly spectacularized social interaction.
Following the survey at MoMA PS1, in collaboration with Hans Werner Poschauko and LLS 387 in Antwerp, Belgium, I contributed to an exhibition focusing on Maria Lassnig's films, Maria Lassnig: Filmmaker. Thanks to the generosity of MoMA's Robert V. Storr research grant, I hope to present some of the artist's newly discovered and never before seen films in 2017.